Donnerstag, 26. März 2015

Album Review: The Wild Young Hearts - Feel Good ... with jaunty, emotional and edgy surf rock

Rock'n'roll advocates The Wild Young Hearts bring us back to the sunny coasts and crowded, eventful streets of california with a good feel and enthusiasm for spirited and bracing music at heart. This time though we do not only feel the fresh breeze of youthful punkish attitude, the infectious vibe of dashing surf rock swagger, both creating a vivid portrayal of the golden state and its pulsating lifestyle (pictured by the trio's previous album 'California Dreams' in a buoyant and brisk fashion) but also are exposed to personal tragedy and 'emotional abysses', as Robb Laffoon, the band's lead singer and songwriter, drew inspiration from (defining) episodes of his life rather than depending on (generalizing) fiction. 'Feel Good' contrasts lyrical gravity and sincerity with energetic instrumental pep and vivacious pop-esque flair, thereby allows mournful moments to surface without neglecting the hopeful facets, the bright sides of (californian) life

Bouncy and boisterous melodic momentum of raw tension shows when the listener is welcomed by boldy thrilling, jauntily dynamic riffage and a vividly upbeat drum rhythm. As deep and edgy vocals join, as the playful, brisk quality of the song unfolds whilst its bitter lyrical frustration manisfests concurrently, it's blatantly obvious that 'I Just Wanna Go Home' satisfies the band's bracing and venturously juvenile signature sound; ardent, brash vocals and sassy instrumental vivacity combined - this is where The Wild Young Hearts feel musically at home

Never underestimate a man's love for his dog: Robb Laffoon dedicates 'Runaway' to his animal darling Josie and in doing so he carries on a tradition as the band's previous release 'California Dreams' featured a song about the frontman's pet already (check on it here). This time light and joyful sonic ease intensifies with vibrantly hollow percussions and fierce, melodious guitar work while the rock outfit's vocalist indulges in memories of his lively, freedom-loving and cuddly companion in an atmospheric, confident and soulful timbric style. A sweet and powerful rock-pop blend, quite a charming combo, isn't it?!

Let glorious and feisty punk-rock spirit and dashing vocal enthusiasm warm your soul - 'Dr. Sunshine' sure sweeps your sorrows away in an instant, its funky tonal friskiness and passionate, provocative vocal sass delight and exhilarate. In the light of the song's lyrical background - Robb Laffoon puts it straight, the track deals with drug deliveries - the listener can't take this composition all too seriously, however neither can resist its addictive and perky tonal stimulus

Vigourously driven drum beats and tensely wavering guitar accents create a vivace, insistently groovy still blithe melodic setting ready to thrill, strong and dynamic vocals command diverting and simple lyrical hilarity and mischief as 'UR' pulsates refreshingly jubilant and nonchalant. This is compositional fun par excellence!

It gets lyrically contemplative and subtly calm (still breezily progressive, soulfully rousing) in sound as the dimly sweeping chords and sentimental, warmly sorrowful vocal delivery of 'Broken' reverberate and harmonize. An emotional, movingly candid ballad blossoms with mild melodic beat, whose narration follows Robb Laffoon's familiar affairs, ranging from meeting his stepfather to watching his mother die from cancer. One of the most sincere, heartfelt and mature songs on the band's second album, and a truly haunting composition.

We are back on the musically carefree and spirited track with 'Venice Beach': jaunty and raucous vocals float with excitingly staggering riffage and cheerful, energetically rhythmic melodies, paint a vivid picture of jovial beach adventures, eventually celebrate ecstatic zest for life

Whilst 'Losing Teeth' - which is, as Robb Laffoon states, 'one of the oldest songs on the album', one that reflects a time in his life when he felt low and resentful,  dreamed about losing his teeth for about 3 months without knowing what has been the trigger behind it - rings melodically vehement and furiously imbuing, it is defined by an overall angry, aggressive mood and evolves into an intensely gripping and acerbic punk-esque anthem. Dalliying with tremulous, fiercely rhythmic instrumental episodes and showcasing pushy vocal severity, 'Losing Teeth' blazes with infectiously forceful might and vivaciously impulsive dynamics

Vibrantly luring acoustic guitar ambience sets the stage for lively and buoyant melodies to rise, furthered by vivifying and zestfully vigorous percussion cadences: 'Me And The Moon' depends on a low-key instrumental atmosphere infused with expressive and edgy vocals of brisk, fiery resonance, shines due to bracing and bright melodic levity that corresponds convincingly with its reflective, dreamy lyrical narration

Excessive compositional amusement comes in the feisty guise of 'Feel Good', Robb Laffoon claims to have furnished with as many 'hip hop influence lyrics' as he possibly could. Whether it's the witty lyrical reference or the powerful interplay of sassy, energetic vocal impetus and audaciously rousing instrumental vitality, the song sure makes for an entertaining, bold and sunny melodic ride

Closing track 'Smile For Me' addresses words of comfort and consolation to Robb and his younger brother, following the narrational perspective of their diseased mother, whereas in real life she never 'had the chance to say goodbye' to her children. Suprisingly upbeat and perkily exuberant in instrumentation, it's the firm vocal lead, radiating poignant emotion and bitter wistfulness, that stirs deeply but also proves to be the song's vibrant and harmonious melodic pulse - one of both genuine sentiment and raw timbric tinge

The Wild Young Hearts' follow-up album to 'California Dreams' - a compilation of briskly reverberative, jocular and audaciously impulsive songs - pulsates in a jaunty, vivifying and breezy melodic manner, however strikes a softer, more sentimental chord too. The 10 songs make you feel good with powerful, catchy beats and light-hearted, sunny lyrical pep yet do not leave out grievous, bleak and upsetting narrational and compositional moments. Simply put: highs and lows of (californian) life collide on this record - and as life can be fast, intense, dramatic, it is worth living, 'Feel Good', covering both bright and dark hours of it, undeniably worth listening to (for those who can't wait until March 31st - the album's official release - you can catch up on the worldwide premiere of 'Feel Good' here). Whether in a bitter mood or in an uplifting, jubilant one, whether in the car blasting out the blissfully elated, sonorously rhythmic tonal waves of 'Runaway' or at home indulging in the mournful, somehow stirringly encouraging sonority of 'Smile For Me', listening to the album is an enjoyable and electrifying emotional roller coaster; those who do (and it's highly recommended!) get about 30 minutes (and according to the LA rock band peoples' regular attention span doesn't last any longer anyway) of light and blithe, passionate and soulful, infectious and thrilling rock music. Sounds as if it's a good deal, to listen and feel good, right?

Reach out & listen to The Wild Young Hearts ...

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